The sports management firm that manages Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Monday clarified that the India skipper holds no stake in the company, putting to rest speculations about a possible conflict of interest.
Indian cricket captain Mahender Singh Dhoni smiles during a press conference in Mumbai before leaving for England for the Champions Trophy. PTI
It was reported in the media that Dhoni has a 15% stake in Rhiti Sports which also manages Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja and Pragyan Ojha, besides the Indian captain.
However, the firm made it clear that Dhoni was a shareholder only for a brief period, and currently has no stake.
"As on date, MSD holds no shareholding in Rhiti Sports Management (P) Ltd. However, it is made clear that shareholding was allotted to MSD on 22.03.2013 only to secure certain old outstandings which were due for more than one year.
"Further, the payments were cleared in April 2013 and the shareholding was transferred back to promoter of the company on 26.04.2013," Rhiti Sports chairman Arun Pandey said in a statement.
In 2010, Dhoni signed up with Rhiti Sports reportedly for Rs. 210 crore, an average of Rs. 70 crore a year, the costliest deal in Indian cricket.
"We at Rhiti Sports Management Pvt Ltd are greatly aggrieved at the widespread media reports regarding alleged conflict of interest of MSD.
"Though not obligated to but in order to put at rest these widespread speculations, we are issuing the following statement to bring in knowledge the correct factual matrix.
"It is made clear that the Management of Rhiti Sports Management (P) Ltd understands its obligations to the field of sport and the country and adheres to the laws of the land," he added in the statement.
Interestingly, two of these players -- Raina and Jadeja -- are part of the same IPL franchise, the Chennai Super Kings, which is also captained by Dhoni.
Ojha had joined Rhiti Sports during Australia's last tour of India.